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Galway youth honoured with cross-channel Player of the Year award

John McIntyre



Galway soccer player Aaron Connolly who is celebrating on the double this week.

A talented Galway soccer player has been chosen as the Premier League 2’s – the English top flight’s U23 equivalent–  Player of the Year.

And in a further boost to the career of Aaron Connolly, he has been included in the Ireland U21 squad for the upcoming Toulon Tournament.

Connolly, who has been in fine form at club level this season, missed the most recent European Championship qualifier with Luxembourg through injury.

The 19-year-old Brighton forward enjoyed a terrific first half to the campaign — scoring 11 goals and creating two assists in 15 league appearances.

On the final day of the January transfer window, the former Mervue United player went on loan to Luton Town for the remainder of the season, but a hamstring injury restricted him to just two appearances for the League One champions.

However, his exploits for the Seagulls have earned him this individual award as the reserve division’s best player.

Connolly saw off competition from eight other players on the shortlist, including fellow Irish teenagers Adam Idah of Norwich City and Southampton midfielder Will Smallbone.

“It’s a good personal achievement,” said the Ireland under-age international. “If someone told me at the start of the season, I would have laughed at it. It’s just been an unbelievable season — personally and for the team.

“I think I have to see myself pushing on to the first team here. I think that’s everyone’s ambition if you’re in the academy here.

“I want to play for the first team at Brighton. If not that, hopefully I can play for a first team somewhere else permanently. But right now my ambition is to play for this first team.

“Hopefully I can do that in the next few years,” added Connolly.

He has also impressed on the international front since moving to the Premier League just over two years ago.

The 18-year-old has lined out for both the Ireland U17s and U19s, with Connolly scoring seven goals in six games during qualifying for the Uefa European U17 Championships two years ago.



Galway City shoppers ‘intimidated’ by scourge of street drinkers

Dara Bradley



From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Street drinking and associated anti-social behaviour in Galway is dissuading customers from entering popular city centre stores.

The proprietor of a well-known business has raised concerns over “ongoing intimidating behaviour” outside shops on the city’s main thoroughfare.

“We have had customers turn away because they sometimes feel threatened by the atmosphere they encounter outside,” the store manager said.

Meanwhile, businesses ‘back the West’ are also concerned about drug dealing and drug taking in the area. Simon Heaslip, Chair of Galway’s Westend, said the area’s biggest problem is “open [drug] dealing in Pump Lane that takes place on a regular basis”.

“There is also a large amount of anti-social behaviour in Fr Burke Park with either underage drinking or drug dealing and drug taking,” Mr Heaslip said.

The concerns were communicated to Galway Business Watch, which held a meeting yesterday (Thursday) at Galway Chamber’s office to discuss retailers’ concerns about crime and anti-social behaviour. Galway Gardaí and Galway City Council representatives addressed the meeting.

Former mayor, Councillor Niall McNelis (Labour) said the experiences of both businesspeople was “startling”.

“I think it is startling that in the city centre you have examples of where policing is falling down,” said Cllr McNelis, a member of Galway City Joint Policing Committee (JPC).
This is a preview only. For full coverage and to read the Council statement in full, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. Buy a digital edition of this week’s paper here, or download the app for Android or iPhone.

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Kids training next to heroin users ‘shooting up’

Denise McNamara



From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Young people are training for a city rowing club while addicts are ‘shooting up’ heroin at all times of the day and night on a lane beside them without any fear from the authorities.

That was the claim made by Gerard Nally of Galway Rowing Club, who said his pleas for something to be done about the huge amounts of drugs paraphernalia left beside their boat shed at Waterside have been ignored.

There are very regularly between two and ten people using needles in an area located behind the ‘Plots’ in Woodquay between the old railway line, the rowing club boat shed and the Special Olympics Kayak Club and fronting onto Steamer’s Quay.

The ground is covered with drug paraphernalia such as syringes, empty vials of sterile water, disposable spoons (for ‘cooking up’ the drugs) and dozens of pocked-sized ‘sharps bins’, which are for the disposal of used syringes. The area is also littered with blackened squares of tin foil, which are used for smoking heroin.

“Kids are training in one room and guys shooting up next door,” Mr Nally exclaimed.

“We’ve been on and on to the [City Council] to clean this up and close it off and we’ve been onto councillors, but we don’t seem to be getting anyone to do anything about this. It’s been going on for years.”
This is a preview only. For full coverage and to read the Council statement in full, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. Buy a digital edition of this week’s paper here, or download the app for Android or iPhone.

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Lidl plans new supermarket in the Westside

Enda Cunningham



An aerial view of the entire Arch Motors site, adjacent to Aldi. Under the plan, the former showroom would be demolished and a new Lidl built, while Monaghan's filling station would not be affected.

From this week’s Galway City Tribune – German discount supermarket chain Lidl has drawn up plans for a €3 million store on the site of the former Arch Motors in the Westside.

The company has applied to Galway City Council for permission to demolish part of the empty Arch Motors premises and construct a new foodstore and off licence.

The Monaghan’s filling station and shop will remain in situ and are not affected by the plans.

According to Lidl, the new supermarket would create between 40 and 50 jobs in construction and up to 25 full-time jobs when operational.

The supermarket chain said the new premises will be in addition to its existing stores at Headford Road and Doughiska, and the planned store in Knocknacarra, which is currently a separate application before the City Council.

“The subject site is currently significantly underutilised despite its strategic location adjoining and functioning as part of the existing Westside District Centre. The applicant is seeking to secure the beneficial use of the site and its redevelopment will considerably enhance the appearance of the site and its contribution to the established commercial area at Westside,” the application reads.
This is a preview only. For full coverage and to read the Council statement in full, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. Buy a digital edition of this week’s paper here, or download the app for Android or iPhone.

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